Transmission of Preferences and Beliefs About Female Labor Market Participation: Direct Evidence on the Role of Mothers

49 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2014

See all articles by Jesus Carro

Jesus Carro

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Matilde Pinto Machado

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Economics

Ricardo Mora

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Date Written: October 2014

Abstract

Recently, economists have established that culture defined as a common set of preferences and beliefs affects economic outcomes, including the levels of female labor force participation. Although this literature has argued that culture is transmitted from parents to children, it has also recognized the difficulty in empirically disentangling the parental transmission of preferences and/or beliefs from other confounding factors, such as technological change or investment in education. Using church registry data from the 18th and 19th centuries, our primary contribution is to interpret the effect of a mother's labor participation status on that of her daughter as the mother-to-daughter transmission of preferences and/or beliefs that are isolated from confounding effects. Because our data are characterized by abundant non-ignorable missing information, we estimate the participation model and the missing process jointly by maximum likelihood. Our results reveal that the mother's working status has a large and statistically significant positive effect on the daughter's probability of working. These findings suggest that intergenerational family transmission of preferences and/or beliefs played a decisive role in the substantial increases in female labor force participation that occurred later.

Keywords: church registry data, econometric methods for missing data, Female labor market participation, historical family data, intergenerational transmission of preferences and/or beliefs, non-ignorable missingness

JEL Classification: J12, J16, J22, J24

Suggested Citation

Carro, Jesus and Machado, Matilde P and Mora, Ricardo, Transmission of Preferences and Beliefs About Female Labor Market Participation: Direct Evidence on the Role of Mothers (October 2014). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP10218, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2526326

Jesus Carro (Contact Author)

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid ( email )

Matilde P Machado

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Economics ( email )

Calle Madrid 126
Getafe, 28903
Spain
+34 91 624 9571 (Phone)
+34 91 624 9875 (Fax)

Ricardo Mora

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

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